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Papatowai ratings
Quality on a good day: 5.0
Consistency of Surf: 2.0
Difficulty Level: 4.0
Crowds: 4.0

Overall: 3.5

See all 18 ratings

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Surf Report Feed

Papatowai Swell Statistics, March: All Swell – Any Wind

This image shows the variation of swells directed at Papatowai through an average March and is based upon 2716 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Papatowai, and at Papatowai the best grid node is 41 km away (25 miles).

The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but without direction information. Five colours show increasing wave sizes. The smallest swells, less than 0.5m (1.5 feet), high are coloured blue. These happened only 31% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red represents biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.

The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the largest spokes, was S, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the NW. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Papatowai and offshore. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are good for surfing at Papatowai, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical March, swells large enough to cause clean enough to surf waves at Papatowai run for about 69% of the time.

IMPORTANT: Beta version feature! Swell heights are open water values from NWW3. There is no attempt to model near-shore effects. Coastal wave heights will generally be less, especially if the break does not have unobstructed exposure to the open ocean.